Price gouging

  • In this March 2, 2012 photo, Al Milani of Staten Island, pumps gas in Manhattan at a BP mini-mart. The price at the gas pump rose over the weekend and the nationwide average is nearing $3.80 a gallon. Oil is close to $107 per barrel because of tensions tied to Iran's nuclear program. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

EDITOR: Republicans are piling on President Barack Obama, blaming him for the spike in gasoline prices. They want you to forget how much gasoline prices went up under President George W. Bush and how we were lied to about the reasons for the rise.

We were told it was refinery capacity, and every time a refinery shut down, or storms shut down production, we had price increases. Recently, we learned the real truth of the matter — that U.S. oil facilities are selling refined products overseas to the highest bidder. They sure seem to have enough capacity to do that and still jack up our prices.

This isn't just about oil, or Republicans vs. Democrats. It's about the oil giants, the health care industry and, of late, the food industry raising prices, not because they're justified, but because they can. This price gouging not only affects individuals but businesses that have to deal with increases in their cost of doing business, combined with reduced consumer spending due to having less disposable income.

These industries may not have the central control of the trusts in Teddy Roosevelt's day, but they might as well, since they all act in unison for bigger profits.



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